Case Study

Consumer-Generated Ideation – Innovating the Meat Department Shopping Experience


Grocery shopping, specifically in the meat department, presents a range of challenges for brick-and-mortar shoppers today.

A consumer packaged goods company was looking for innovative ways to harness consumer input and improve the retail experience. In particular, the company wanted to work with consumers to improve the meat department retail experience. But they weren’t looking for a one-off research project; they wanted a creative, repeatable approach to consumer engagement.

C+R conducted a multi-phase study that included an online discussion day, an ideation workshop, and even an illustrator! By the end of the project, our team had established a quick-turn methodology that the client could apply across multiple retail partners nationwide to address regional and channel-specific needs.


Enlisting Consumers in the Innovation Process

A major consumer packaged goods company wanted to work with consumers to make the meat department, at a particular retail partner, a stand-out destination within the store and among the competition. Their ultimate goal: develop an easily replicable process for gathering consumer ideas to enhance shopper encounters at retailers across the country.


A Creative Approach to Multi-Phase Research (Spoiler Alert: We Hired an Illustrator!)

C+R’s team began the investigation with a foundational exploration – hearing from consumers firsthand about the pros and cons of their go-to grocery retailer. In particular, shoppers were asked to relay their delighters and disappointers in the meat department, as well as in other aisles of the store.

Then, moderators led consumers through a series of creative ideation activities to help them imagine and articulate ways their go-to meat department could innovate and improve. Consumer ideas were then grouped into overarching themes.

Next, respondents were excused and C+R conducted a work session with the client insights team members, their stakeholders and an illustrator. The workshop resulted in six fully developed concepts rooted in consumer input.

Finally, the same consumers were invited back so that researchers could gauge their collective interest in the co-created ideas, gather additional feedback, and make concept optimizations.

All of this transpired in just three, dynamic, agile days of insights harvesting and creative thinking.

The result

A Long List of Ideas and a Replicable Process

The research team discovered that three spheres of convenience, creativity, and connection were white space opportunity areas for innovation in the meat department. 

C+R’s analytic team organized the shoppers’ suggestions and micro-ideas around these core opportunity platforms, and further subcategorized them into themes against which to ideate concepts with the client team and illustrator. For example, shoppers expressed delight in high-touch engagement with staff, thus some of the new ideas revolved around chef interaction. Other ideas leveraged the benefits of convenience and sustainable products that shoppers desired.

At the end of the research, the client had a host of innovative consumer-generated recommendations for improving the meat department experience. Moreover, they walked away with a quick-turn methodology that could be applied across multiple retail partners nationwide to address regional and channel-specific needs.

proven experience

related case studies

take the next step

let’s discuss your upcoming project